The Divine Paradox

A God, and yet a man?
A maid, and yet a mother?
Wit wonders that wit can
Conceive this, or the other.

A God, and can He die?
a dead man, can He love?
What wit can well reply?
What reason reason give?

God, truth itself, doth teach it.
Man’s wit sinks too far under
By reason’s power to reach it.
Believe, and leave to wonder!

—author unknown, “The Divine Paradox” (16th century)

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The Wonder of the Incarnation

A great and mighty wonder,
A full and holy cure.

—Germanus (7th century), translated by John Mason Neale (1861)

 

[Jesus’ human life] began in an infinitely small place: as almost invisible, swiftly dividing cells in a young woman’s womb. In the dark, and the obscure.

—Jessica Snell, http://ccca.biola.edu/advent/2017/#day-dec-5

The Mystery of the Incarnation

The real difficulty, the supreme mystery with which the gospel confronts us, does not lie in the Good Friday message of atonement, nor in the Easter message of resurrection, but in the Christmas message of Incarnation.

The really staggering Christian claim is that Jesus of Nazareth was God made man—that the second person of the Godhead became the ‘second man’ (1 Cor. 15:47), determining human destiny, the second representative head of the race, and that He took humanity without loss of deity, so that Jesus of Nazareth was as truly and fully divine as He was human.

‘The Word became flesh’ (John 1:14); God became man; the divine Son became a Jew; the Almighty appeared on earth as a helpless human baby, unable to do more than lie and stare and wriggle and make noises, needing to be fed and changed and taught to talk like any other child.

The more you think about it, the more staggering it gets. Nothing in fiction is so fantastic as is this truth of the Incarnation.

—J. I. Packer, Knowing God, 53

The Glory of the Incarnation

The glory of the incarnation is that the physicality of Jesus—His human nature—is the very means by which God is known. In other words, the humanity of Jesus was not an obstacle to God’s revelation that we somehow need to look past to find God. On the contrary, the humanity of Jesus, His tangible, physical, material presence, was and is the way by which God is known through Jesus. The incarnation is the ultimate declaration of what is proclaimed repeatedly in Genesis 1: God saw what He had made, and it was good.

—Gordon T. Smith, A Holy Meal: The Lord’s Supper in the Life of the Church, 27